While the Rays have already clinched the AL East title and secured home-field advantage throughout the AL bracket, the Yankees are still in high-stakes mode. As such, Friday night’s clash between these two divisional rivals in the Bronx is very much on our radar.
That’s because of the current state of the AL wild-card race. Here’s a look at those standings coming into Friday’s slate:
AL wild-card standings
1. Yankees: 91-68 (+2 G)
2. Red Sox: 89-70 —
3. Mariners: 89-70 —
4. Blue Jays: 88-71 (1 GB)
As you can see, the Yankees are two games clear of the Red Sox and Mariners, who are tied for the second and final spot. The Blue Jays, meantime, are one game out of playoff position with three to play. As for the Yankees, they can clinch a fifth straight postseason berth with win over the Rays on Friday in tandem with a loss by the Red Sox or a loss by the Mariners. To hold up their end of that bargain, the Yankees will start Nestor Cortes (2.85 ERA in 88 1/3 IP) opposite Tampa Bay rookie Shane McClanahan (3.44 ERA in 120 1/3 IP).
Key AL wild-card games, scores
Follow along below for live updates, scores, highlights and analysis from Friday night in the AL wild-card race.